Sabrent has pushed the boundaries of fast flash and high capacity with its recent SSDs, surpassing even the biggest names in the industry. We thought 8TB of flash storage was niche and extreme enough for most prosumers and enthusiasts at the time we tested Sabrent’s 8TB Rocket XTRM-Q firstbut now the company is doubling down and pushing capacity to new limits with its 16TB model.
The new variant doubles the capacity to 16TB, but is not as portable as the 8TB model due to its larger form factor and power requirements. While the original XTRM-Q had one Rocket Q M.2 NVMe SSD, the new 16TB model has two behind a slightly different Thunderbolt 3 bridge, offering a ton of fast flash storage and potentially bus-saturating performance for those who need it. to have. to have. the. However, it comes at a high cost, tipping the scales at around $3,000, making it even more of a niche buy for those who can afford it.
|Capacity (User / Raw)||16000 / 16384|
|Interface / Protocol||USB-C / Thunderbolt 3|
|Including||USB Type-C Cable and Power Block|
|Sequential Read||RAID 0 – 2,800MBps; JBOD – 1,400MBps|
|Interface controller:||Intel JHL6340|
|NAND controller||Phison E12S|
|Storage media||Micron 96L QLC|
|Default file system||exFAT|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||115 x 65 x 16mm|
Sabrent’s 16TB XTRM-Q offers sequential read performance of up to 1.4 GBps or 2.8 GBps over Thunderbolt 3, depending on how you configure the device. It lacks an official sequential write performance rating, but based on our testing, it offers the same performance during write workloads as it does during read tasks. It can be configured in RAID 0, RAID 1, or as JBOD to customize the drive for performance, data reliability, or flexibility, respectively.
The XTRM-Q costs $2,899.99 and is not cheap, and the warranty is missing. It is backed by a three-year warranty, which is short for a product of this capacity and price. It’s worth noting that the three-year warranty is longer than Sabrent’s standard one-year warranty. The SSD also lacks stamina like most portable SSDs, but don’t expect Optane-esque stamina. Each SSD inside is probably limited to a comparable amount of stamina as the Rocket Q drives under the hood.
Software & Accessories
The 16TB Rocket XTRM-Q comes with a long 28-inch USB-C Thunderbolt 3 cable and a power supply block to power the device. The power brick is not optional – the device cannot be turned on without it. Our sample also came with a vented silicone sleeve for drop protection. In addition, the company provides Sabrent’s RAID Assistant software, which allows for quick and easy configuration in RAID 0, RAID1, or JBOD configurations.
A closer look
The 16TB Rocket XTRM-Q measures 115 x 65 x 16 mm and weighs 233 grams. Considering its capacity, it is a small and compact storage device. It is much smaller than the LaCie 2big RAID 16TB we tested in 2019but not even twice the size of the portable 8TB Rocket XTRM-Q.
The exterior is made of solid aluminum, leading to a quality feel in your hands. It also comes with rubber feet to keep it from sliding wherever you place it. There are two power/activity lights on the left side of the Thunderbolt 3 port, and the DC input is on the right, along with a power button.
Sabrent’s Rocket XTRM-Q is fully Thunderbolt certified by Intel. Internally, it is powered by an Intel JHL6340 Thunderbolt 3 controller with two PCIe 3.0 lanes assigned to each of the SSDs. The drives support Trim and SMART data reporting, but as an Alpine Ridge based controller, the drive is only Thunderbolt 3 compatible and will not work when plugged into a standard USB-C port. That’s similar to what we’ve seen with some Titan Ridge-powered Thunderbolt 3 devices.
Furthermore, RAID functionality is not built-in via a hardware controller; instead, the SSD software uses RAID functionality built into Windows or macOS.
As mentioned, the XTRM-Q is powered by two 8TB Rocket Q M.2 NVMe SSDs. Each has a Phison E12S NVMe SSD controller and a DDR3L DRAM cache paired with eight NAND packs of Micron’s 1Tb 96L QLC flash. In addition, each quad-plane die offers better interleaving capabilities (and thus performance) than the dual-plane designs found in competing flashes. This is especially important when you consider QLC’s normally slow program times.
The controller runs at 666 MHz, but the flash communicates with the controller at slower speeds than the retail Rocket Q we discussed earlier. Rather than interface at 666 MTps, these models run at 333 MTps to manage heat, but thankfully this is more than enough to maintain responsive performance for the intended external application.
LAKE: Best SSDs
LAKE: How we test HDDs and SSDs
LAKE: All SSD content